Members of Catonsville United Methodist Church,
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am writing in the week following Rally Day, our annual Sunday School kickoff, excited by the energy and vitality of our community as we worship, learn, and serve in Catonsville together.
It has been over two months since I began to serve Catonsville UMC as lead pastor, and I have been constantly grateful for the warm reception that you have given to me, to Katie (my wife), and to our children, Caleb (6), and Hannah (2). Many of you have been thoughtful to share words of affirmation and welcome over these first months of ministry here, and I am so thankful for that. I continue to value your prayers that Psalm 78:72 would be true of me: “David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”
As we launch into this fall season, I invite you to consider what it might mean for you to take your next faithful step in Christian Discipleship. It is not too late for you and/or your family to begin to participate in one of our Sunday School classes at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays. Or perhaps you are a person who attends worship about once a month. Why not aim for twice a month (or more!) this fall season?
Being a Christian in the 21st century is not easy. We need each other! I know that some of you face the challenge of not being able to attend regularly due to your location or life situation. One simple way to stay connected to our worshipping community is through our website. In addition to discovering and keeping up with church activities, missions, and learning opportunities, there you can find sermon manuscripts and audio records, posted weekly at http://catonsvilleumc.org/sermons. Facebook is also a great way to stay connected with what is going on at church, as there are usually several posts per week. Find us at https://www.facebook.com/catonsvilleumc/.
As this pastoral transition continues, I invite feedback as to how you feel things are going. What is working? What are you concerned about? What has surprised or delighted you? Please feel free to share your thoughts directly with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to give feedback indirectly, our Transition Team would welcome your comments. This group of individuals is helping me and the church to ensure that this pastoral transition is successful. They are Liz Atwood, Cathy Barry (SPRC Representative), Christine Call, Brent Carroll, Mary Coates, Jeff D’Arcy, Nancy Hobbs, Phillip Juengst, Zach Ratliff, and Sam Wright.
On Tuesday through Friday, you may reach me at the church office from the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 410-747-1886. I ask for your understanding and support to keep Monday as my Sabbath day of rest. If you are in need of assistance on Mondays, please call the church office.
Finally, let us know how you prefer to receive communication from your church by visiting http://tinyurl.com/cumcconnect. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter. I sincerely look forward to getting to know you, to learning your stories, and to serving alongside you, for the glory of God.
Grace and Peace,